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WHISTLER, British Columbia — Irish director Jim Sheridan is looking wistfully out of a hotel window in Whistler, B.C. as falling snow blankets the picturesque Canadian ski resort.
Sheridan is conducting a Canadian Film Center screenwriting workshop here after the fluffly white stuff, or more precisely, the lack thereof, last January cursed the original shoot in Toronto for his psychological thriller Dream House, the Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz-starrer set for reshootsin March 2011.
“We went to Toronto in January and it didn’t snow one day that month. And the entire movie is set in a snow storm,” he explained.
Even worse, in Connecticut, where the supernatural thriller for Universal Pictures is set, it snowed heavily from January to March last winter, Sheridan recalled.
The additional footage — mostly snowy footprints and shots out of car windows — was to be shot in Toronto this week.
But the reshoots have now been postponed to March after Craig couldn’t get away from the set of David Fincher‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in Sweden at the same time that Weisz was free from the London set of Terence Davies‘ The Deep Blue Sea.
And Dream House co-star Naomi Watts is in Thailand top-lining the tsunami disaster movie The Impossible, opposite Ewan McGregor.
With all three actors better placed to gather in Toronto for reshoots next March, Universal Pictures has pushed the theatrical release of Dream House from Morgan Creek Productions from February 2011 to later in the year.
Sheridan added that recent test screenings revealed he needs another two or three scenes for Dream House to better explain the movie to audiences.
“It’s actually more information we need, to give the audience information earlier in the movie, he explained.
Dream House sees Weisz play the wife of a New York publishing executive (Craig), who relocates his family to a quaint New England town, only to discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her two children.
“I’m happy enough with it. It will be a good movie. But it’s a very unusual story-line that’s sometimes hard to negotiate,” Sheridan explained.
“At base, it’s a big love story. On top of that, it’s a genre horror story. On top of that, it’s a psychological thriller. There’s a lot of strands to keep in the air,” he added.
Postponing the reshoots to March allowed Sheridan to come west this week to the Whistler Film Festival to fulfill a pledge to Norman Jewison and mentor three screenwriters at the Canadian Film Center.
Sheridan completed the workshop with Blake Corbett and his script for the film Mighty Lion, Katherine Collins with her The Berliner script, and Garfield Lindsay Miller with a script for Bitter Pills.
“I was really surprised at the level of all of the scripts. Usually it’s a real headache as you have something rather undeveloped. But each was in an advanced stage of development,” Sheridan said.
The Irish director also welcomed a break from Dream House, and a remake of I Claudius that he will direct for Relativity Media.
“It takes your mind off what you’re working on, and then it flashes like a light what you should do with the other one, because you’re not paying attention,” Sheridan explained.
“So for me it’s a great little break and a bit of fun,” he added.
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